Some television shows start with a title and Steve Carell has revealed that Space Force, Netflix’s new comedy that reunites Carell with Greg Daniels, his co-worker on The Office, was one of them.
Carell and Daniels revealed the genesis of the comedy, which launches on May 29, as the streamer unveiled the first teaser trailer for the show.
Starring Carell as four-star general Mark R. Naird, a decorated pilot with dreams of running the Air Force, who finds himself tapped to lead the newly formed sixth branch of the US Armed Forces: Space Force.
Naird uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado where he and a colorful team of scientists and “Spacemen” are tasked by the White House with getting American boots on the moon (again) in a hurry and achieving total space dominance. It also stars John Malkovich, Diana Silvers, Tawny Newsome, Ben Schwartz, Lisa Kudrow, Jimmy O. Yang, Noah Emmerich, Alex Sparrow and Don Lake. 3 Arts’ Howard Klein serves as exec producer alongside Carell and Daniels.
Carell said that the show came around in a rather “atypical way”. “Netflix had this premise that they thought might make a funny show — the idea made everybody laugh in a meeting, an idea of a show about the origins of a fictitious Space Force. I heard about the idea through my agent, and Netflix pitched the show to me, and then I pitched the show to Greg, and we all had the same reaction to it. There was no show, there was no idea aside from the title. Netflix asked, ‘Do you want to do a show called Space Force?’ And I pretty much immediately said, ‘Well yeah, sure. That sounds great.’ And then I called Greg, and I said, “Hey, you want to do a show called Space Force?” And he said, “Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s do it.” And it was really based on nothing, except this name that made everybody laugh. So we were off and running.”
Daniels added after this call, he and Carell created the character and figured out what they wanted to say about the notion of making space more military. “We realized that the story had beautiful visuals and a mythic quality, and it echoed some of America’s best moments. It had a lot of heroism and yet it also had a strong satirical element. Suddenly everybody has realized that there are riches to be had on the moon, and we’ve got to stake our claim. It feels like there’s now a scramble to colonize space. The contrast between that and the super hopeful early days of NASA, when it was just such an achievement for all of mankind to get a person on the moon, is a good subject for satire,” said Daniels.
The pair wanted to make sure that they were accurate, and “complimentary” of the the military virtues that Carell’s character holds. “We have astronaut advisors, science advisors, and our military advisor, Mark Vazquez, has been very useful in teaching us about military behavior. Both Steve and I have relatives in the military who we love and respect, and hope are going to enjoy watching the show,” Daniels added.
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